The “Open for Summer” vaccine lottery will be open for all vaccinated Albertans and will feature three prizes. These prizes will be worth $1 million each and Albertans will have a chance to win the lottery during the summer.
To motivate its citizens the government of Alberta has been trying to find new solutions, and this lottery has been the one that seems most appealing so far. Similar draws have been established in the US and Manitoba.
Premier Jason Kenney stated:
“The impetus for the lottery is to get as many people vaccinated as soon as possible. Every day that goes by that we have hundreds of thousands of people that are not vaccinated, it opens us up to a certain degree of risk. We had a very strong demand for first doses until about 10 days ago. And we saw it drop just right off.”
According to a recent poll, 85 percent of Albertans would agree to be vaccinated. Keeney added:
“There always will be some who will never get a vaccine of any kind. No fact and no plea to civic responsibility will sway them. But we also know that there are lots of people who want to get vaccinated or are thinking hard about it but they just haven’t taken the plunge yet. We really need to push hard to encourage the 15 percent who want to get vaccinated or are open to it but have not yet gotten around to it.”
Health Minister Tyler Shandro also supports the lottery:
“COVID has already cost us billions and this lottery is aimed at reducing the cost going forward to individual Albertans who are still at risk of getting sick and to all of us as a province. This is an investment in Albertans and in our province’s future. We need to beat the virus once and for all.”
Still, some believe that this is not a good idea. Dr. Stephanie Smith, an infectious disease physician at the University of Alberta Hospital, has stated:
“They are hesitant, they have concerns about the safety or the efficacy. And for those people, I really don’t think giving them whatever it is, a one-in-a-million chance to win money is actually going to make a big difference.”